June 30, 2008

Have I already said, "I love this book."

Monday morning. O.k. I just finished The Shack. All I can say is WOW. AMAZING. I don't want to give away any of the plot, but this is a fictional book, written about one man's relationship with God. The book starts out a bit hard to read, this man's life has been filled with pain, and to understand where he needs healing we need to see what shaped him. Before you know it the healing starts. And all the heart ache starts to subside. So if you are like me and thought, I am not sure I can read this without crying my eyes out, keep reading and you will cry your eyes out for a completely different reason at the end.

One of my preacher buds who lives in a different state said that their church fund purchased copies for their entire congregation. Well worth the investment. The giftedness of the author, William P. Young, is inspiring.

One of the parts that surprisingly I had tears falling down the side of my cheeks was where Mack and Jesus are laying side by side on the bank of a lake in the grass. Watching the stars. The more I get to know Jesus, the more I love Him, and then the more I desire to be closer to Him and know Him more fully, it is like a never ending process. A glorious and divine process. And the picture of just hanging out with Him in silence and watching the stars touched my heart so deeply.

A quote from page 185.

"Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
Papa. (God)

Thank You God for this book.

June 28, 2008

The Shack Page 100.

A great quote from "The Shack" page 100.
"A bird's not defined by being grounded but by his ability to fly. Remember this, humans are not defined by their limitations, but by the intentions that I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in My image."

I love this book.

June 27, 2008

Have you changed your bookmark for my photog blog?

I am so glad that I received my Amazon shipment. I am on page 50 of The Shack.
If you have bookmarked my photog blog and you haven't seen a new entry since the Hurst family then you are on my old photog blog. To get to the new one go through www.marcelainphotography.com or just click the link on the sidebar and that will take you to the new blog. My only complaint with .mac blogs is that the blogs are computer based not web based. I started the first blog on my old computer and when I got my new computer I had to start a new blog site. As my old computer is having issues, it wouldn't allow me to get on that old blog to notate that the blog had moved.
Have a super weekend.

June 25, 2008

To Infinity and Beyond at the Y

I am tired today. Tonight is our fourth and final night of SBA (Summer Bible Adventure). We are all having fun, Derek has outgrown the age requirements to participate so he is a helper this year. He is helping Elaine and Tom in the pre-school crafts, I am a group leader along with a new friend named Shelly, Rob is the mad scientist who does the opening skit each night along with Ann, and Jack and Sophie are participants. So many people put so much work into SBA, it is always a blessing to be a part of it.

I took some awesome pics this morning of a precious 2 week old baby boy and I can't wait to get those images processed.

I have been going to the Y every day. My routine is to walk on the treadmill, lift weights and swim laps. I love swimming, I love the rhythm of it, it is my favorite exercise activity. My favorite part of swimming is when I kick off from the side and I am in the deep end. I have my goggles on and I am gliding through the water, kind of like being shot out of a rocket in space. I am the Buzz Lightyear of the deep end. I also love that when I am under water I can not hear the screaming of the 150 Y-Care kids screaming in the play part of the pool. I do love swimming.

Jack is at Camp Imagination in the afternoons this week. He is having a good time, he did say he had to do a lot of thinking. Not exactly what he expected, but other than having to use his brain during summer vacation he is having a good time.

I am counting down the days until I get to hear Beth Moore speak at Living Proof Live in San Antonio. August 22,23. Speaking of Beth Moore, I saw last night on the Lifeway website that her new study on the book of Esther will be released on November 1, 2008. That will be too late to start a ladies Bible Class on it this year, so that will be our spring study. We are starting "Discerning God's Voice" by Priscilla Shirer this Sunday night and have an incredible amount of women signed up, I think we are at 37.

I am off to pick up Jack from camp.

June 23, 2008

<>< Books

Can I just say that I am anticipating my shipment from Amazon. I can't wait to start reading, which book should I start with first?

Items not yet shipped:
Delivery estimate: July 1, 2008 - July 14, 2008

Authentic Relationships: Discover the Lost Art of One Anothering

No Other Gods: Confronting Our Modern Day Idols

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer,
and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

The Shack

I think I will start with Same Kind of Different As Me or The Shack!!!

June 22, 2008

Last Set of Pics from AZ

Here is the last set of pics from our trip to AZ. We had a great time with our sweet family, we are so blessed. I think it was 112 degrees this day, maybe by this time it had cooled off to 105 degrees. It had been a while since I had experienced the heat coming up through my shoes from the street and the heat baring down on me from the sun. Feels like you are being cooked from top to bottom. All the heat is worth seeing my amazing family.

Dakota, Riley, Reagan and Christopher. Riley was not excited!

Sophie and Logan in their matching outfits.

Jordan and her way cool glasses, and her necklace that she bought in Abilene!

Sophie and Logan

Jordan, my sister Tiffany and her daughter Dimity. To say that Tiffany doesn't like her picture taken is an understatement, maybe someday I will get a picture where she will show her teeth ; )


Jack in the drivers seat, with Reagan and Christopher.

Big smile from Reagan.

Jordan and Dimity




June 21, 2008

At Becky's House

Here are some pics from my sister Becky's house. She has precious children. I have one more set of pics to post from my brother's house. Will do that later today or very soon. Enjoy these bright and shining faces.
The top pic is my daughter Sophie, the rest of these sweet faces are my neices and nephew.

Sweet Reagan

Sweet Riley

Dakota and Riley

Handsome Christopher


Dakota and Riley, my sister Becky in the middle.

Riley playing with the sword.

Big smile from Dakota.

Christopher looking so big and tall.

June 20, 2008

A Couple of Pics

Here is a pic of all the cousins in Arizona...and the yummy Lamingtons my sister made! You can click on the pics and they will show larger, if you want to see the faces of the kiddo's better.

I added another cousins pic. My sister Tiffany drove her boyfriends truck over to my brothers house because she knew the kids would love it. Here is a pic of the cousins in the back of the truck.

Summertime and the livin' is easy.

Friday morning. Not much but summertime going on around here. I ordered some new books on Amazon yesterday

Delivery estimate: July 1, 2008 - July 14, 2008
Authentic Relationships: Discover the Lost Art of One Anothering

No Other Gods: Confronting Our Modern Day Idols

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

The Shack

Can't wait to get started reading. Bought the new Coldplay yesterday also. So far I like it a lot. I haven't ever bought a full album of Coldplay, itunes has made it easy to just download and listen to the songs I know I already like. I love every Coldplay song I listen to, so I decided to just buy the whole disc. I think I am on track 8.

I am gearing up for a very busy July. Lots of weddings. 5 to be exact. Each one will be wonderful.

Like I said, not much but summertime going on around here.

I am excited to start a new Bible study with the Ladies of my church on the 29th. Discerning God's Voice by Priscilla Shirer.

June 19, 2008

Home Again

Thursday morning. Back from our vacation to see family in Arizona and Albuquerque. We had a blast. We went to a water park, a Diamondback Baseball game, church with my sister and her family, had a barbque, saw some wonderful friends of mine. Hung out with family, met my twin neices who were about 18 months ago, played my brothers Wii. My sister Becky made Lamingtons for me ; }. Yummy! Lamingtons are a sponge type cake cut into squares with a thin chocolate sauce/icing put all around the side and then dunked in coconut. Think Zinger only Chocolate and much better. I didn't take alot of pics, I took some, so once I get them uploaded I will post a few.

The kids had a great time with all of their cousins and many more memories were made.

I budgeted a certain amount for gasoline, and although it was expensive, we didn't need to fill up as much as I thought we might, so it left us enough in our envelope to search high and low for our own Wii. After numerous stores and phone calls, none were to be found in AZ. My sister in law in Albuquerque, searched high and low for us and found none IN Albuquerque, but a small town about 15 miles outside of Alb. named Moriarty had 5 on their shelves. So she went and bought us one and had it waiting on her dining room table when we walked in. I paid her back, and now we are the official owners of a Wii system. We all loved playing it, and my brother had alot of the games, so we were able to try many of them out to see which ones we would like to buy in the future. A must have was Guitar Hero. We totally loved it.

It is always a blast to leave town, but always so nice to be home.

Today we will go pick up Snickers from the Vet where she boards, and we will be officially back home.

What a great week.

June 09, 2008

I love this book.

Monday morning. On Friday our family went and saw Kung Fu Panda. Jack had it marked on the calendar and was counting down the days for the last 2 weeks. It was cute, had a good message, alot of action. I generally have a hard time staying awake for animated movies in the theatre, the last movie I slept in was Horton Hears a Who. I slept through about half of Kung Fu, so the half that I saw I can review.

Third installment on the book club (Walking With God by John Eldredge) last night. The discussion was amazing and so insightful. It is so cool to see how God is using this book to bring us closer to him. Last night we talked alot about spiritual warfare and how satan is an opportunist and is always on the prowl. If we are aware of the battles around us then we can pray through them and be victorious with the power of Jesus. I am living proof, as I walk and breathe, that if I don't arm myself every day with God's word and prayer my flesh is so weak that I am easily had by the manipulations of darkness. Whatever your battles are this week, don't fight them alone, go to Jesus in prayer and open His word and let God give you the battle gear necessary to be victorious.

We already know who won the war but satan made it his greatest desire to take down the precious sons and daughters of the King while we walk the earth. He is just hoping we wont notice or look up to see who is behind it all. If satan can take our eyes away from God for a day or a week we don't know where that ripple effect will lead. As a mom it affects my kids, my husband, my family...my friends. I choose to cling to the power of the Cross.

Here is a quote from the book we talked about last night.

"If you walk with God, you will find yourself called up to the real thing. Intense battle. Authentic joy. The battle will find you. But you have to be intentional about the joy."

We also discussed generational sin...here is a quote.

"...Because somewhere along the line, the leader of that family let it in, through sins and agreements, and it passes down the line until someone takes a stand against it."

This is something that is a big deal to me. So much baggage, so much garbage that I have toted on my back for years, whether I am in the garbage or not, if I don't stop it here I will send it on to future generations for them to deal with. I loved when one of the Book Club gals remembered the scriptures in the Old Testament where it talks about one of the kings turning away from God and how it affected generation after generation, each generation more evil than the previous, each more messed up, until finally one king took a stand and said, "it stops here." No more, we are bring God back into our city, and then through that there were blessings of peace and goodness.

Then one last quote that I really loved, regarding praying for physical healing.
"But you have to be so careful with your heart and your faith when it comes to healing prayer. It's so important to know what God is up to...This is crucial - hearing God requires surrender, giving all things over into His hands. Not abandoning your desires, but yielding them to God...we have to be careful that our earnest hope and desire don't cause us to claim a promise God has not given. Sometimes well-meaning people will do this on your behalf. Out of their love for you, desperate to offer encouragement, they will come to believe that their desire is what God is promising. A lot of mistaken prophetic words come from this desire."

Because I lived through the struggle over the last 3 years of what to believe through what people were telling me and reading through scripture day in and day out to make sure I was on the same page as God. As a parent of a child with a brain tumor and I would guess this would apply to most parents of sick children, I was always searching God in this. I had several people over the course of 3 years tell me my faith wasn't strong enough and that is why God wasn't healing my son, that never seemed right to me. God requires faith, it is through our faith we are saved, in fact it is through our faith that we are made righteous, it is our faith that pleases God, but I can't make myself have more faith, I was seeking it and being molded by the Father and I was praying for faith, I was believing in His goodness and mercy and his faithfulness that sticks with me even when mine is in question. The only place I found peace in all of this searching was when I said, You are my God, I will love you no matter what happens, I am clinging to you for your strength and mercy. The times that I expected God to heal Jack because of my faith, I could tell my heart was not in alignment with God's will for me. And that was when I would feel like if I really took that stand, if I gave my heart over to it completely, I would have put that as an idol before God, testing Him, and if He didn't come through then my heart would have been broken. When I yielded my desires to God there was His peace. What is better than having peace when your child is ill? With peace you can find joy and blessings in every day. Where there is worry and discontent it is hard to even open your eyes wide enough to see the goodness around you, and I would have missed thousand of blessings along the way.

Have I mentioned I love this book?

June 08, 2008

Good Sunday Morning

Sunday morning. My house is quiet. The smell of coffee is in the air. Rob just went on to church as he is in the sound booth today, and I haven't woken the kids up yet. This is my favorite time of day, sneaking a bit of peace before the day begins. I have had a busy week, we are getting ready to go out of town to visit my siblings in Arizona, via family in Albuquerque. Finishing up all the loose ends. I know that I am getting old, because in the past when I go on vacation even for just a couple of days and then come back home to work, it is like I am looking at something I have never seen before. So I either have to leave myself really good notes or just get it all done before I go. I am trying my hardest to do the latter.
Things are good at our house. Jack's schedule of waking up on his own time has lessened the nausea to about nothing in the morning. Something about being woken up suddenly jolts his system and the lack of natural steroids that he has right now make him sick. But if he can just wake up gradually, his body doesn't call on the steroids so quickly and he does great.
Rob and I spent 4 hours on Friday night cleaning our kids rooms. I took Sophies and he took Derek and Jack's room. A big black garbage container and 2 bags of clothes to pass on later and they look somewhat inhabitable again. Normally the last week of school I make it my mission to clean each of their rooms before summer starts. I didn't have time to get that done this year, and couldn't stand to go on vacation leaving their rooms in such disaray. They do a good job tidying up, but they never want to get rid of anything. So about 3 times a year I give their rooms the heave ho, this only can be done when they are not home. Funny how they don't miss what they don't see.

Tonight is our 3rd book club meeting on Walking With God by John Eldredge. I love this book, and the other ladies involved have enjoyed it also. To be in alignment with where God's is calling me is a good thing, sometimes I get it, and sometimes I royally mess up, but that Grace He gives freely is what I cling to.

Have a blessed Sunday.

June 04, 2008

Journey's Inn

Last week I was at my friends new Bed and Breakfast, Journey's Inn. The Bed and Breakfast is in the historical district of Abilene and it is beautiful. One of my friends from church, Susan and her friend and co-worker, Cheryl, opened the bed and breakfast just over a month ago. I loved the story that one of their first guests at Journey's Inn loved it so much that they booked it for the next 3 years on the dates they would be back in town visiting their kids at ACU. I am looking forward to taking my family there for an in town getaway sometime this summer. We love in town getaways, especially with the price of gasoline. As I haven't stayed there yet I have only heard about the wonderful baked muffins and goodies to eat in the morning. I thought I would share the quaintness of this fun place with you.

Here is the door that leads into Journey's Inn. How fun is that?

Meet Yertle. He came with the home when Vann and Susan moved in. He is one of three pond turtles, but by far his personality out shines the other turtles. I have to say that this is the friendliest and smartest turtle I have ever met. He came when Susan called him, he made his way back to the pond when directed to do so to get his breakfast.

Here are some of the pictures from the backyard. I love the pic where Yertle is waiting by the edge of the pond and looking at the camera, he likes to be the center of attention.

And here are pics from inside the Journey's Inn. Susan and Cheryl did a great job decorating.

I hope you enjoyed your little tour through the Journey's Inn.

June 02, 2008

Pics are Up

Amber and Kent's pics are up click here
to see the slideshow. Or you can simply click on the sidebar at Marcelain Photography Blog. Thanks for the patience of all who tried to click over earlier, I got the link fixed. Amazing what a missing "s" does to a url address. Enjoy these sweet pics.